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When saving the planet is worth more than avoiding destruction. The importance of message framing when speaking to egoistic individuals

Maria Lagomarsino, Linda Lemarié & Michael Puntiroli

Résumé This paper sheds light on the reasons why conventional messages prove largely ineffective at fostering pro-environmental behaviors among individuals with high egoistic values. We conducted three experiments comparing the effectiveness of prevention-focused and promotion-focused messages at promoting pro-environmental behaviors. We found that egoistic individuals exposed to prevention-focused messages tended to perceive pro-environmental efforts as less worthy, compared to those exposed to promotion-focused messages. This effect, in turn, decreased their willingness to take environmental action. We also observed that the negative effect prevention-focused messages have on egoists is attributable to a defense mechanism. Egoistic people exposed to prevention-focused messages seem to deny the veracity of the message, which in turn decreases the perceived worthiness of the environmental effort and thus the intention to act. The findings highlight the best way to frame environmental communication to reach those who are least likely to adopt eco-responsible behavior, i.e., egoistic people.
   
Mots-clés Pro-environmental behaviors, Egoistic values, Message framing, Regulatory focus, Effort worthiness
   
Citation Lagomarsino, M., Lemarié, L., & Puntiroli, M. (2020). When saving the planet is worth more than avoiding destruction. The importance of message framing when speaking to egoistic individuals. Journal of Business Research, 118, 162-176.
   
Type Article de périodique (Anglais)
Date de publication 1-9-2020
Nom du périodique Journal of Business Research
Volume 118
Pages 162-176
URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.06.046